The Crisis of Illiteracy is Real
Illiteracy is most dangerous for the development of any of the countries. It results in more significant issues such as unemployment, population burst, poverty, etc. Illiteracy in India is one of the major issues since independence. However, efforts have been made by NGOs and the government that has resulted in a slight drop in the illiteracy rate in India. Although we are making progress, it’s not enough. Still, there are many things we can do to help eradicate illiteracy in India.
In the fallout of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the world is scrambling to repair the systems that were damaged or set back by our year on pause. One major casualty of the pandemic is literacy. Literacy is fundamental to reducing poverty, building life skills, and achieving gender equality. On the flip side, India is also home to the largest number of illiterate people in the world with over 25% of the population still uneducated. After more than a year of school closures and inaccessible education for some, children are at a greater risk than ever of losing out on vital reading skills.
India has the highest illiteracy rate as 287 million adults are illiterate in India. The statistics pointed towards the staggering disparities in the educational levels in India. The nation does not look like a promising nation if it has a stable economic growth rate but has poor literacy rates. Hence, a higher literacy rate is essential for any nation to bring it to a global platform.
Illiteracy in India is more or less concerned with different forms of disparities that exist in the country and has the complex dimensions attached to it. These are based on gender imbalances, state imbalances, income imbalances, caste imbalances, and sometimes also the technological barriers that shape the literacy rates in the nation.
In India, there is the highest illiterate population as the literacy rates were around 82% for men in 2011 and 65% for women. The low female literacy is because of the dependency of women on men for activities. Therefore, it leads to the formation of a vicious circle. It is not a new concept that the rich will have better access to educational facilities as compared to the. Due to the lack of skills and knowledge, the poor get involved in unskilled labor for the family earning. Thus it reduces the main focus from achieving education to earning income for surviving for livelihood.
The biggest problem of illiteracy in India is poverty, which leads to unemployment. Poverty is the single biggest cause of illiteracy in India and also a curse to all other problems. The people have an inability to attain basic nutritious food, and potable water is the more popular effects of poverty in India, which suppress the problem of being illiterate. After all, food and water it is one of those things that people actually want to pick up for themselves and want to get rid of poverty.
The thing about illiteracy in India is its effects are compounded together to form the burden passed on from one generation to generation. Therefore, it has been increasing with each generational shift and every year added to the calendar.
A National Priority:
The government and different NGOs like Indian Assembly of Youth, have been working on solving the seemingly insurmountable problem of eradicating illiteracy in India for both children and adults. The basic financial literacy programs for using computers to help adults learn how to read and write. NGOs are motivation people for night classes and studies and providing the facility for the same. The government is also allocating the literary budgets and focusing solely on improving children and adults’ reading and writing abilities.
Here are some actions you can take to promote literacy in your community.
1. Volunteer with local literacy program: Wherever you are, there’s a likely chance that you have access to some kind of charitable literacy program. Reading aloud to children helps build early literacy and social skills. For low-income communities, reading programs can offer access to a library, a place to go on the weekends or in the summer, and the opportunity to build foundational skills for literacy.
2. Volunteer with incarcerated people: Adult literacy is intertwined with poverty and incarceration. The relationship between illiteracy and incarceration is examined and several prison literacy programs are described. According to the Correctional Education Association and other statistical data, the illiteracy for adult inmates is estimated at 75 percent. Illiteracy only perpetuates the prison cycle. Education in prisons can be an effective form of rehabilitation and help adults earn diplomas that can lead to more job opportunities.
3. Contribute to tiny libraries: If you’re in a metropolitan area or suburban neighborhood, you may have passed one of these creative book-sharing programs on the street. Tiny libraries are a growing trend that can help promote literacy in your community. Getting involved can be easy: Simply drop off your gently used books to one of these fairy home-like boxes.
Problems Ahead for Government Schemes
Several schemes have been launched to ensure the right to education in the country. The National Policy of Education has been declared that the whole nation has to commit itself and help in eradicating illiteracy, especially among the young population. The National Literacy Mission of 1988 made literacy a community endeavor. It has aimed to attain a literacy rate of 41% by 2035. The education policy of 1992 has guaranteed free and compulsory education to all the children up to the age of 14 years before the advent of the 21st century. The policy seems to bite dust today as it has not been able to prevent dropouts among school children, and illiteracy in India still prevails.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan incorporates decentralization for planning and management of elementary education because of the absence of community participation, most of the policies fail to generate a mass consensus. Hence there is no clarity on the objectives between these bodies with respect to the spread of education. There is also a matter of corruption that has become an incorrigible element concerning the allocation of funds raised by the government to education. The money was less than the actual budget allocation for education is utilized for the implementation of the schemes.
Indian Assembly of Youth Helping the Government in Spreading Education
Our NGOs are willing and committed to spread knowledge and emerge as an effective mechanism for acquiring both literacy and empowerment of the underprivileged people of the society. The people who submitted responses are aware of the working of our NGO for the people and children at large. The state governments are focusing on expanding primary education. Therefore, IAY, with the help of government schemes and objectives, helps in providing accessibility of education to poor children. The state is offering the financial resources that children need to participate in literacy programs.
We, as an NGO, help the teachers and the students to realize the importance of basic education and strive for the same. We have honestly seen an improvement after conducting awareness campaigns to educate people about the importance of education, and we are making significant progress. A sense of accountability is important to ensure that government schools must function efficiently. There is a requirement of scrutiny in schools, and there is a need to improve the facilities of labs and classrooms in government schools.